Humgeen San Naedz: My Good Friends

Pulled from the files of July: Namely, the “Draft” folder.  

I was asked a very good question yesterday. “Who did you leave behind?”

It was an invitation to tell of the people I loved; who I will be grieving for; and I so appreciated the grandfatherly gentleman and his wife for thinking of it to ask.

Does that grief-word surprise you? Sometimes even I get caught up in the excitement of seeing friends and family, of returning ‘home’, and heading off on the next stage of life and adventure, but arriving in a new place means leaving one behind.

When that place is Mongolia I do not think it is too easily forgotten.

No, that’s not quite right: When one loves people in Mongolia they are not easily forgotten.

I have been blessed to be a part of many communities and individuals during our time in Asia. These are only few of the individuals that will be keenly missed:

language school
An early week in language school: Learning food


Our gracious firecracker of a language teacher, Oyuna was probably the one who knew us most during our stay in her country. Helping us navigate foreign sounds as well as giving cultural insight, she was our teacher, preacher, listener, mother and friend who  taught us more than a language. She pushed us in our speech but also in life, encouraging and challenging us every week. Plus, she fed us cookies every single day! Can’t go wrong with that.

Oh, how I love that woman!

She might hate me for this picture. It’s my favourite.


Yep, this girl is every bit of awesome as she looks!
As you can see, she’s pretty fearless (here, she’s tackling the toilets for our youth service/cleaning night) but also quick-witted and fun to be around. She educates me on the latest sci-fi movies, actors, and internet slang and  humours my goofiness with my eye rolling.  Then she comes and sits on our couch and I call her our cat while she entertains herself on some kind of technology. We have a great relationship consisting of the odd random wandering in cold UB and sitting side by laptop side in the coffee shop our team haunted and her parents ran.


This one is my dragon: mini thlo.
Such a fifteen year year old girl – the demograph that scares me!  With a little girl heart and a rock star attitude with perfect make up and a tough shell, this one is a spitting cat that can hold her own on the outside but still has a few battles on the inside that manage to leak out. I called her my dragon for her ferocity but later remembered in Asia, dragons are a symbol of good luck as well. No wonder she liked it ; )

 I didn’t realize the significance of this relationship until the last few days of our time there. May I never forget the tears streaming down her face as we waited for her bus to pull away. May I never forget to pray, because that is the one thing I CAN do for her. And I don’t do it enough.

Mini thlo, mini naedz.                                                                My Dragon, my friend.

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